A wealthy man who was very fond of art had in his collection the masterpieces of all the famous classic and modern painters, paintings belonging to all schools and movements. He would very often sit together with his son and admire the wonderful paintings from their collection.
But soon the war broke out and his son was enrolled and sent on the front. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier.
When his father received that news he grieved deeply the loss of his only son.
About a month later, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.
He said, “Sir, you don’t know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art.
The young man held out his package. “I know this isn’t much. I’m not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.”
The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father sighed and his eyes welled up with tears.
He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. “Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It’s a gift.”
The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.
After the death of the father a few months later it was organized a great auction of his paintings. Many people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection On the platform sat the painting of the son.
The auctioneer pounded his gavel. “We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?”
There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, “We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.”
But the auctioneer persisted, “Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?”
Another voice shouted angrily, “We didn’t come to see this painting. We came to see the painting of Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Fragonard, Matisse Picasso. Get on with the real bids! “
But still the auctioneer continued, “The son! The son! Who’ll take the son?”
Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son.
“I’ll give $10 for the painting.” Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.
|“We have $10, who will bid $20?”
“Give it to him for $10. Let’s see the masters.”
“$10 is the bid, won’t someone bid $20?”
The crowd was becoming angry. They didn’t want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. “Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!
A man sitting on the second row shouted, “Now let’s get on with the collection!” The auctioneer laid down his gavel, “I’m sorry, the auction is over.”
“What about the paintings, the masterpieces from the collection?”
“I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!”
God gave his Son 2,000 years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is, “The Son, the Son, who’ll take the Son?” Because you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3, 16)
This is true Love…
May God have mercy on us!